CHEROKEE EATS: Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café
Cherokee Nation citizen Nancy Bryan opened Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café in 2017 after years of baking and selling sweets out of her home. Her establishment is known for its pies, cakes and pumpkin rolls. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
In addition to serving homemade sweets, Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café also serves sandwiches such as this turkey, bacon and Swiss. Potato soup is also served every day to compliment entrées. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
PARK HILL – The Cherokee Phoenix visited Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café for its first installment of Cherokee Eats, a series highlighting Cherokee-owned eateries and their specialties.
Namesake Nancy Bryan said the realization of her establishment took decades and several jobs in between, but when she finally opened in 2017 the effort was worth the wait.
“I had the desire to start a business at a young age, when I started baking with my nanny,” Bryan said. “She taught me how to make pie crusts when I was probably 11-years-old and from that time on, every time I went to visit her we would make pies. I would think, ‘someday I want to do this. I want to have my own business.’ And after working at Keys Public Schools for 32 years, I decided to retire and open up a little shop with pies.”
Everything Bryan makes, including pies and cakes, comes from family recipes.
“I made everything from a recipe, nothing in a box,” she said. “My mother also taught me more skills on making homemade cakes. So from that time on, growing up it was always a treat to me to make something for someone coming into my home.”
Bryan said her customers have their favorites, including coconut and chocolate pecan pie, but she likes to experiment. “We are known for some that I have, as we say, come up with my own self, like the Almond Joy pie, lemon pineapple, chocolate banana. We have different types that you don’t normally get when you go somewhere that I’ve just thought of and put together, and people really enjoy them.”
While Bryan is known for her sweets such as brownies and pumpkin rolls, she also offers appetizers and entrées.
“On the entrées that we have here, we specialize in our chicken and dumplings every Friday with our cornbread salad,” she said. “We have our potato soup every day. That’s something we will always have every day, and we have a different type of soup with that. Everyone wants to come in and have something warm. Then we also have chili as another entrée and our chicken pot pie is really popular.”
Because she spent time selling specialties out of her home, she said she’s grateful to have a physical space for customers to sit and enjoy her food.
“I really enjoy what I’m doing here,” she said. “One of my purposes of opening Nancy’s was also to make sure, when they came in, our customers would feel like they were at home. I want them to know that they’re welcome, and when they’re eating I like to go and visit with them.”
Nancy’s Homemade Pies and Café is at 26426-26484 S. Indian Road. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays and Tuesday through Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays it’s open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.